School & Center For Children With Autism In New York

Headlines

  • Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors associated with autism and developmental delays in boys
    In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public health found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently...
  • Screening infants to identify autism much earlier
    The aim of this study was to develop a screening tool to identify infants prior to 12 months at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental learning delay (DLD) and provide immediate...
  • Atypical brain connectivity associated with autism spectrum disorder
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adolescents appears to be associated with atypical connectivity in the brain involving the systems that help people infer what others are thinking and understand...
  • Families of children with autism benefit from dog ownership
    Many families face the decision of whether to get a dog. For families of children with autism, the decision can be even more challenging.
  • Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors associated with autism and developmental delays in boys
    In a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs, researchers from the Bloomberg School of Public health found that prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a frequently...
  • Common links between neurodegenerative diseases identified
    The pattern of brain alterations may be similar in several different neurodegenerative diseases, which opens the door to alternative therapeutic strategies to tackle these diseases, experts say.
  • Screening infants to identify autism much earlier
    The aim of this study was to develop a screening tool to identify infants prior to 12 months at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental learning delay (DLD) and provide immediate...
  • Atypical brain connectivity associated with autism spectrum disorder
    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in adolescents appears to be associated with atypical connectivity in the brain involving the systems that help people infer what others are thinking and understand...
  • Family-Based Clinical Associations and Functional Characterization of the Serotonin 2A Receptor Gene (HTR2A) in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    The serotonin 2A receptor gene (HTR2A) harbors two functional single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are frequent in populations of African and European descent; rs6311, which affects mRNA expression, and rs6314, which changes the amino acid sequence of the encoded protein and affects the signaling properties of the receptor. Multiple clinical associations support a role for these SNPs in cognitive and neuropsychiatric phenotypes, although studies in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) remain equivocal. Here, we tested transmission disequilibrium of rs6311 and rs6314 in a cohort of 158 ASD trios (simplex and multiplex), observing significant under-transmission of the minor ?A? allele of rs6311 to offspring with ASD (permuted P?=?0.0004). Consistent with our previous findings in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of unaffected individuals, rs6311/A decreases expression of HTR2A mRNA with an extended 5? untranslated region (UTR) in the frontopolar cortex in brain samples from 54 ASD patients and controls. Interpreting the clinical results in the context of our mRNA expression analysis, we speculate that any risk associated with rs6311 is conferred by greater expression of the long 5?UTR mRNA isoform. The current study corroborates earlier associations between rs6311 and ASD in a family study, supporting the hypothesis that rs6311 plays a modulatory role in ASD risk. Autism Res 2014, ??: ?????. 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Propensity to Imitate in Autism Is Not Modulated by the Model's Gaze Direction: An Eye-Tracking Study
    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show a diminished propensity to imitate others' actions, as well as a diminished sensitivity and responsivity to others' communicative cues, such as a direct gaze. However, it is not known whether failure to appreciate the communicative value of a direct gaze is associated with imitation abnormalities in this population. In this eye-tracking study, we investigated how 25 preschoolers with ASD, compared with 25 developmental and chronological age-matched children, imitate actions that are associated with a model's direct gaze versus averted gaze. We found that the model's direct gaze immediately prior to the demonstration increased the attention to the model and the propensity to imitate the demonstrated action in children without ASD. In contrast, preschoolers with ASD showed a similar propensity to look at the model's face and to imitate the demonstrated actions across the direct gaze and the averted gaze conditions. These data indicate that atypical imitation in ASD might be linked to abnormal processing of the model's communicative signals (such as a direct gaze) that modulate imitative behaviours in individuals without ASD. Autism Res 2014, ??: ?????. 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Susceptibility to Distraction in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Probing the Integrity of Oscillatory Alpha-Band Suppression Mechanisms
    When attention is directed to one information stream over another, the brain can be configured in advance to selectively process the relevant stream and suppress potentially distracting inputs. One key mechanism of suppression is through the deployment of anticipatory alpha-band (?10?Hz) oscillatory activity, with greater alpha-band power observed in cortical regions that will ultimately process the distracting stream. Atypical attention has been implicated in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including greater interference by distracting task-irrelevant inputs. Here we tested the integrity of these alpha-band mechanisms in ASD using an intersensory attention task. Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded while participants were cued on a trial-by-trial basis to selectively deploy attention to the visual or auditory modality in anticipation of a target within the cued modality. Whereas typically developing (TD) children showed the predicted alpha-band modulation, with increased alpha-band power over parieto-occipital scalp when attention was deployed to the auditory compared with the visual modality, this differential pattern was entirely absent at the group level in the ASD cohort. Further, only the ASD group showed impaired performance due to the presence of task-irrelevant sensory information. These data suggest that impaired modulation of alpha-band activity plays a role in increased distraction from extraneous sensory inputs in ASD. Autism Res 2014, ??: ?????. 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
  • Autism Characteristics and Behavioural Disturbances in ??500 Children with Down's Syndrome in England and Wales
    Recent research shows that a significant minority of children with Down's syndrome (DS) also meet diagnostic criteria for an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study investigated what proportion of children aged 6?15 years with a confirmed diagnosis of DS in England and Wales display autistic-type behaviours, and explored the characteristics of this group of children. The Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ) was used to screen for autism characteristics and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to explore behavioural difficulties. The proportion of children who met the cut-off score for ASD on the SCQ (total score ??15) was 37.7% (95% CI: 33.4?42.0%); for autism (total score ??22) the proportion was 16.5% (95% CI: 13.2?19.8%). Children who met the cut-off for ASD were significantly more likely to be reported as having emotional symptoms, conduct problems and hyperactivity on the SDQ than children who scored well below cut-off (total score
 

Research

  • Analysis of movement patterns may reveal autism severity
    An automated system developed for tracking the movements of lab animals can be used to accurately map the activity of children with autism, researchers reported in the February Molecular Autism. When given free rein, the system found, children with autism tend to explore a room?s edges, whereas those with other developmental disorders cling to their parents.
  • Guest blog: The case for using 'prebiotics'
    Prebiotics ? nutrients that promote the growth of some beneficial gut bacteria ? can influence brain chemistry and behavior. New findings suggest prebiotics as treatments for people with neurological disorders, say Sarkis Mazmanian and Gil Sharon.
  • Molecular mechanisms: Mutant star cells stunt neuron size
    Support cells generated from people with Rett syndrome release molecules that alter the shape and function of neurons, according to a study published 27 February in Human Molecular Genetics.
  • The cerebellum's surprisingly evolved role in autism
    Thought until recently to only coordinate motor skills, the cerebellum is involved in diverse cognitive functions such as language and social interaction, and may play a role in autism, says Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom.
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